Tweets, when studied at scale, allow for interesting (and sometimes prescient) insights into public mood, including responses to significant socio-political developments. In Sri Lanka, Twitter acts as a pulse of what’s often shared and discussed at much greater volume and velocity on Facebook. Through the visual study of tweets, when matched with offline developments, one is able to get a sense of, amongst other things, which accounts, at what time, are the most influential. That’s particularly helpful in ascertaining key producers of meaning (contra-distinct to number of tweets produced) at a given time.
The underlying data collection feeds into on-going doctoral research at the University of Otago. The visualisations are based on parameters here. Broadly speaking, I collect all tweets with the #lka and/or #srilanka hashtags posted on public accounts each week. Over the years, the average number of tweets per week featuring one or both these hashtags has significantly increased, and as of mid-2021, is close to 200,000.
What’s presented on this site is without any corresponding analysis or framing. For op-eds and articles that speak to some of this data at certain times, see my blog. The strongest caution is urged in interpretation of data, especially by those unfamiliar with social network analysis.
This on-going research anchored primarily to Sri Lanka, is as far as I know, unique. What’s up here takes a lot of hard work. Any use, reuse, embedding or reference, to any data visualisation on this site in part or whole, is only with prior permission.